Hyundai burst into flames in garage, Australian mum demands answers

Popular Hyundai SUV catches on fire inside a family’s garage and nearly set the house alight – as shocking images show the extent of the blaze

  • Single mum claims she’s been ‘ghosted’ by Hyundai after car burst into flames
  • Anne-Maree Johnston was minutes from losing her home before firies arrived
  • Her car unexpectedly burst into flames in garage, believed to be an engine fault
  • One of dozens of Hyundai owners who enlisted help of Handle My Complaint

A single mum has recalled the horrifying moment her car burst into flames in her garage and how she used a garden hose to battle the blaze until firefighters arrived.

Anne-Maree Johnston was just metres away in the kitchen of her Port Macquarie home on the NSW mid-north coast, eating lunch with her daughter, when her 2014 model Hyundai ix35 Trophy Auto AWD suddenly caught alight.

She’s one of the dozens of Hyundai owners who have taken further action and sought advice regarding their vehicles catching alight due to engine faults.

Ms Johnston has shared footage and photos of her extensively-damaged garage and the gutted wreckage of her car, which couldn’t be salvaged.

The extent of the blaze could have been so much worse.

Ms Johnston was minutes away from losing her entire two-storey home before firefighters arrived just in time.

Anne-Maree Johnston's Hyundai ix35 Trophy Auto AWD (pictured) couldn't be salvaged after the engine unexpectedly caught  and burst into flames

Anne-Maree Johnston’s Hyundai ix35 Trophy Auto AWD (pictured) couldn’t be salvaged after the engine unexpectedly caught  and burst into flames

Ms Johnston and her two children could have been trapped upstairs had the car caught alight at night while they were sleeping.

‘It was either I got in there with a garden hose to save the house, or we lost the house,’ she told news.com.au.

‘And they said I wouldn’t have been able to contain it for another five minutes. Five minutes later, and it would have just fireballed.’

More than a year after the harrowing ordeal, Ms Johnston claims she’s been ‘ghosted’ by Hyundai, despite numerous calls and emails demanding answers.

The car had always been serviced on time at a local dealership since Ms Johnston brought the model brand new in 2014.

She says she has also suffered ongoing health issues since the blaze.

‘Cars just don’t catch on fire,’ she said.

‘It’s not just about losing a vehicle, and this is what Hyundai has to understand, losing a vehicle that was the easiest part. It was the trauma that comes along with it.’

Firefighters arrived just in time before Anne Maree's Port Macquarie home  was entirely engulfed by flames

Firefighters arrived just in time before Anne Maree’s Port Macquarie home  was entirely engulfed by flames

Ms Johnston is one of 28 Hyundai owners who have enlisted the help of Handle My Complaint, a service dedicated to resolving consumer complaints.

Handle My Complaint founder Jo Ucukalo has since written to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission urging the the watchdog to intervene. 

In the last 10 years, the free service has resolved more than 12,000 complaints with more than 130 organisations and saved Australian consumers $5.35 million.

Ms Ucukalo also urged other Hyundai owners who’ve had similar experiences to get in touch. 

Of the 28 Hyundai owners who have got in contact with her in the last 12 months, all but two of the complaints are regarding engine faults.

Single mum-of-two Anne-Maree (pictured) has taken further action after she was 'ghosted' by Hyundai regarding her gutted vehicle

Single mum-of-two Anne-Maree (pictured) has taken further action after she was ‘ghosted’ by Hyundai regarding her gutted vehicle

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